Category Archives: Vintage Photos

When the Bicentennial was THE Fourth of July


Of course Independence day is always a blast.  Parades, grilling and hanging with friends on this special day.  But in 1976, it was so much more. It was the BICENTENNIAL!

It was a time when Betsy Ross became a fashion icon.





And everything was covered in red white and blue! Even beer!


And the parades! Oh, they were awesome!

But if we are going to talk about parades, there is one place that really rocks parades.  That would be of course…




Every now and then you find wonderful remnants of this groovy time when people loved history! Like this great fire hydrant.


And if you are lucky, you’ll find a little reminder of the Bicentennial in your pocket.

I just can’t help but smile every time I find one of them.

Have a great fourth of July, friends!




The Summit School Flame Yearbook 1964. Woot!

I was in a teensy thrift store a while back…you know the ones that are run by really sweet little old ladies? I usually find that I will walk away with absolutely nothing, or something really awesome. There’s not much middle ground. This time I didn’t find much, but as I was making my out of the shop I spied a stack of old year books. This one in particular caught my eye. It was for an all girls school in Minnesota (yes I found it in California). I think these are so fun to look at. C’mon, lets take a peek!

The senior class had some really cool looking young ladies.

haha. i love that she is a “record, boy and clothing collector”!

Yes. Her nickname is SHOTSY. Love that!

Each section had a special hand pressed (hand colored?) page tipped in—so fun! And how cute is this:

But what about the staff?? I have to say that Headmistress Ethel Pease looks like a good ol gal!

But that Gertrude Kelsey? Shelooks like a tough old bird, eh?

I have several other yearbooks that I’ll be sharing with you guys—the co-ed ones are especially fun because they have great photos of DANCES! (And lets not forget the autographs….)

The Magical World of Barton’s Bonbonniere

I love discovering something that just makes you go, “Oh WOW.” This is one of them! Back in 1938, Viennese chocolatier Stephen Klein started Bartons Salon De Chocolat in the New York area. They had great success creating delicious European-style chocolates and even expanded their line to produce kosher chocolates—earning a reputation in the Jewish community  for being “the” confectioner for Passover sweets. As demand increased, they opened more and more shops. In 1952, as they prepared to open their 50th store in Manhatten, they decided to give their brand a refresh. And what a colorful refresh it was!

Can you believe this place? I love it. LOVE!!!

Every colorful detail was intentional as can be—and quite unlike what was happening in architecture and design at the time. Apparently the rules for store design included missives like “the store front must look modern” “strong colors should not be used; they overwhelm the merchandise” and even “don’t call attention to the ceiling and away from the merchandise”. CLEARLY the brains behind Bartons had their own ideas!

In the August 1952 issue of Architectural Forum, architect Victor Gruen said “store design is taking itself too seriously,” and was determined to turn the candy store into a visual delight. They began by giving the traditional storefront a vibrant paint job that made it stand out on the street.

Together with graphic consultant Alvin Lustig, they set about to create a “toy shop for adults”. The plan? Clever displays, vibrant colors and whimsical Calder-esque light fixtures that were guaranteed to make customers smile and put them in the mood for some candy shopping! (It’s no coincidence that “Lustig” means jolly/lively/fun in German!)

Ahh, those lamps. No detail was spared and even the candy tins were colorful and featured fun illustrations. This spectacular one is my favorite:

So there you have it. The technicolor world of Bartons Bonbonniere! It’s amazing, isn’t it?

OH! And for those of you who would like to see a little slice of this awesomeness, head on down to LACMA in Los Angeles. They are having a special exhibition on California Design and THE LAMPS are featured!


images: article / tall candy boxes / round candy box

Leapin’ Lizards, it’s February 29!

It happens every four years. But I have to confess I didn’t really understand WHY we had a leap year. So I did a lil poking around and found out some cool stuff. Like did you know Julius Caesar introduced Leap Years during the Roman empire over 2000 years ago? Me neither! So here’s the skinny on WHY we still have leap year every four years:

“Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds  – to circle once around the Sun.

However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn’t add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!”

source: time and date

ZOINKS! Pretty crazy huh. I think it’s so cool and weird that there are some people who technically only celebrate their birthday every four years! Are you a leap year baby or do you know one??

images: Philippe Halsman (all but last image. source unknown.)

Philippe Halsman was a renowned photographer for LIFE magazine in the 1950s (shooting an unprescedented 101 covers!). He was commissioned to shoot portraits of many famous people, and one day had the unique idea to ask each person to take one final pose and JUMP for the camera! He called the series Jumpology and as you can see, the results of his quirky request were pretty amazing. Everyone from Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Benny Goodman, Richard Nixon to even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor agreed to “jump”. So awesome. And so fitting for today. Oh, and that very top photo is of Mr. Halsman and Marilyn Monroe.

A Peek at Vintage Disneyland.

I just got back from LA and my folks are arriving in a few hours and I’m in “clean the house!” mode ( Sam has been shedding like a maniac!). I haven’t quite finished my Link Hootenanny, but will post it tonight or tomorrow. Until then, how amazing are these vintage Disney photos?? The place is still magical as ever, but I so miss some of the old rides, like the Country Bear Jamboree and America Sings…..

But the main difference is the amount of people. WOW. The crowds are just so insane. It’s pretty incredible how many people visit the Happiest Place on Earth EVERY SINGLE DAY. I think there were 40,000 people there. Or maybe 80,000. I can’t remember. Either way, the number is mind boggling! You’ll notice how much SPACE there is in these photos….

This family in particular is awesome. Always dress up and always having (arms-folded) fun!

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